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Re: On DSLs

From: Konrad Hinsen
Subject: Re: On DSLs
Date: Tue, 03 Dec 2019 11:26:29 +0100

Hi Ludo,

>> For better illustration, I'll try to rewrite my own manifests in the
>> way I'd like to be able to write them. That's probably more useful
>> than theory (a tough statement to make for a theoretician ;-)
> Agreed!

Just to be clear: I actually intend to implement some infrastructure to
make this happen, so this will take a while. One of my convictions after
decades in computational science is that ideas without implementations
should not be discussed extensively, so I try to live by my own
standards ;-)

> That’s not true.  In some cases, people write something that’s actually
> code (in YAML, in JSON, etc.) and there’s an interpreter running it.

I have been fortunate enough not to have seen such things yet!

> IOW, I think you can have a declarative _style_ in a full-blown
> language, like:

Definitely, and that's what I am aiming for. There remains the security
issue of malevolent power users sneaking in innocuous-looking
non-declarative code that non-expert users might run without suspicion.
But I'd say we can make a lot of progress by having declarative style
for all routine configuration data.

> This is just to say that we should not conflate the style and the
> language.  I think what we care about is supporting a declarative style,
> and making it expressive enough that people don’t feel the need to
> resort to complicated code.



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